Seventy years ago, on October 6, 1951, The Ukrainian Weekly marked the 18th anniversary of its founding. It was at the Ukrainian National Association convention in 1933 in Detroit where it was decided that the UNA must publish for the growing younger generation a weekly publication in the English language as a supplement in the Ukrainian-language newspaper Svoboda.
The editorial from 1951 noted mixed sentiments from the decision at the UNA convention. “The youth greeted it with open arms, as the letters in its early issues testify. The parents of the youth liked the idea too; otherwise, they would not have voted for the idea at the Detroit convention. Some Canadian newspapers, however, did not like it so much. They were against an English-language publication …. They wrote that that would de-Ukrainianize the youth, meaning that our young people as a result would eventually forsake and forget that which tied them up with their Ukrainian descent, background and traditions.”
“Time,” the editorial continued, “has proven these critics to be wrong.” The youth, The Weekly’s core readers, “together with their organizations, local and national, are today more firmly welded to what is Ukrainian in them than ever before. It is not the language one speaks that counts in this respect, but it is the spirit, the feeling for that which is one’s own.”
“The Ukrainian Weekly,” it added, “will continue to publicize and advocate the cause of Ukrainian national liberation. It will as ever strive to keep strong in our younger and older people the will and resolve to aid their kinsmen in Soviet Russian enslaved land to win their birthright – national freedom in a free and independent Ukraine.”
In 1951, subscribers to The Weekly were primarily from American-born Ukrainians, but with the arrival of a wave of Ukrainian immigrant displaced persons (DPs) after World War II, a growing number of Ukrainian DPs had also begun to subscribe and The Weekly was seen as a way to accelerate the adjustment of these new immigrants to the Ukrainian American way of life. “What is equally important is the fact that through The Weekly they will sooner get in closer contact with their American-born young kinsmen.”
Theodore Lutwiniak, in The Weekly’s section of the same 1951 issue, “Youth and the U.N.A.,” noted the need for news story submissions from the community. “By supporting The Ukrainian Weekly, you help its sponsor, the Ukrainian National Association. An interesting newspaper reflects credit to the organization, so help make your Weekly as interesting as possible,” he concluded.
This year marks the 88th anniversary of the founding of The Ukrainian Weekly, with its inaugural issue published on October 6, 1933.
Source: “Weekly’s 18th birthday,” The Ukrainian Weekly, October 8, 1951.